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Maui hikes & activities, special occassion dinners

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Aug 21st, 2012, 01:31 AM
  #1
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Maui hikes & activities, special occassion dinners

Hello.....now that we have finally booked hotel and flight, I can start planning the details!

When I was last in Maui, it was a late addition onto a trip while we were in Kauai so didn't get a chance to plan much and didn't do any of the "must see" things from the guidebooks, i.e. road to hana or the volcano sunrise, etc. (Although we did snorkel at Molokini and loved it) Can you recommend favorite activities? I don't plan on keeping *too* busy, but since we're there for 10 days im sure a few mornings or something away from the resort is in order. Is the road to hana worth giving up a whole day, for example?

Also, although we are celebrating our 5 year anniversary while there, it is also my husband's birthday so would love advice of a great place for dinner. I'm sure there are a number of gorgeous choices but if you could pick one for a special occassion!

Thanks in advance
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Aug 21st, 2012, 05:59 AM
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We love Maui too!

I would highly recommend the road to Hana. Yes, it's long and the roads twist and turn, but it's such a beautiful drive. I suggest stopping at the Garden of Eden along the way. There are many other nice stops as well. Take your time and get out of the car often. I think it's worth the day. Seeing the sunrise on the top of Haleakalā is awesome. You have to get up in the middle of the night and drive up in the dark, but it's so worth it. On your way back you can stop and have breakfast somewhere.

As for dining, Mama's Fish House is excellent. We also loved Merriman's in Kapalua. Leilani's at the Whalers Village was also very good. There are many choices as far as nice dinners go. For more affordable meals, we loved Flatbreads in Paia and the Hali’imaile General Store. Cheeseburger in Paradise is also good for an inexpensive meal.

Enjoy your trip! We are going to Kauai in February and are already counting the days
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Aug 21st, 2012, 09:38 AM
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I think Merrimans is one of the most romantic restaurants on the island- we only went for happy hour- but would love to have dinner there with an SO if only I had one. It's a beautiful romantic place.
A sunset dinner cruise would also be nice for an anniversary
For casual I like the Hula Grill - and Kimo's in Lahaina.
A fairly new restaurant in the Star Noodle which is Asian fusion and gets good reviews- a freind of mine is the manager.

Last trip there we were supposed to snorkel Molokini but because of weather, they took us to Shark Cove off the coast of Lanai where there was the most spectacular snorkeling I have done in a long time- and we we the only boat there.

A day trip to Paia is fun- watch the wind surfers, eat local food and shop the funky beach stores. For lunch we went to a grocery store ( have forgotten name) but they have a section where you can get sandwiches ,salad and other foods to go- we got box lunches - mine was a gingered fish and it was excellent.

A stop at the Iao Needle is beautiful and an interesting piece of Hawaiian history.

We went to church in Lahaina to the oldest Hawaiian church in the islands- it was a nice experience- service and hymns in Hawaiian and English. Lunch served in the hall after was like a luau with lots of local foods. Cemetery next to church is resting place for Hawaiian royalty and many of the missionaries who came to the islands.

Have not done Haleakala sunrise but have been there at sunset which was pretty spectacular- downside is driving back down in the dark.

Love Maui- enjoy
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 07:00 AM
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thanks all - i think merriman's looks like the way to go for the birthday dinner - we can't get anything close to views like that around here! now if only january would arrive.....!
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 07:48 AM
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rachel,
If I remember you are staying at the FS, right? Merrimans is a loooonnng way from the FS. Spagos or Ferraros right at the FS are excellent choices.

For a shorter drive, go to Mamas fish house. Not the same view, but much better cuisine
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 08:16 AM
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When we were at Merrimans , we had whales playing and breaching just off the coast while we dined.

Its a beautiful spot!
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 08:18 AM
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You could also do Mama's as a birthday lunch! (I don't think Merriman's does lunch...but maybe.) I agree with FrankS about not going that far for dinner. I'm not even crazy about doing a luau in Lahaina from Wailea.

I haven't heard much yet about the newly re-opened (and re-located) Waterfront restaurant in Maalaea.

For great views, try Five Palms on Keawakapu Beach and Gannon's on the Gold (golf course in Wailea). See if you can hit Mulligan's on the Blue when Willie K is performing.

Highlight of Road to Hana for me is the bamboo jungle hike. It IS a long day, but it's up to you to decide one evening that you want to give it a go the next day. Do get up to Haleakala at some point,drive around Upcountry, grab a bite in Paia. Drive up to piney Kapalua and south past Makena where black lava meets the blue ocean.
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 10:37 AM
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Merriman's is a little over an hour's drive from Wailea. Sure it's not around the corner, but it's worth it. If you don't go for dinner, go in the later afternoon for happy hour and have some drinks and appetizers. We've been serveral times and never miss Merriman's when we're in Maui. We drove from Kapalua to Paia for dinner a few times too.
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 10:52 AM
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Don't miss Haleakala! I don't think you have to go for sunrise personally. Our family went later in the morning (because no one wanted to get up in the middle of the night or make the curvy drive in the dark).

For entertainment we enjoyed Old Lahaina Luau (but I heard Feast of Lele is lovely too) and the show at Myth & Magic Theater in Lahaina called U'lalena.
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 12:51 PM
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<<>>

Is it a Michelin 3* restaurant? If not, I don't see how it could be worth an hour drive
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 05:00 PM
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When I was in Maui, we ate at Gannon's one night--it was delicious. As long as you're sitting outside in the beautiful ocean air, I don't think you can miss. I was totally unfamiliar with Maui when we went and I got a lot of use out of Gathering Guide http://www.gatheringguide.com/event_...nt_venues.html Hope it helps! Have a blast!
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 06:35 PM
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We of course, love the road to Hana. Any way you do it either out on tour (http://www.tourmaui.com) or driving yourself, it's definitely a great experience.

There are many great places for a special occasion on Maui because in many cases that's why people are here, to celebrate or create a special occasion. Mama's Fish House is definitely a special place and it's best when you can really enjoy the view. The Kula Lodge is a great spot as well and you can combine a journey upcountry with a stop there.

There are also a lot of great restaurants along the beach pathway in Wailea too.

Someone else mentioned Flatbread in Paia that's definitely a fun place for pizza and drinks in the evening after a great day at the beach.
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 08:11 PM
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Mama's absolutely serves lunch...in fact, I prefer to have lunch their rather then dinner it's less crowded, you can actually enjoy the view a bit, and the prices are more reasonable for virtually the same menu. Love a stop at Mama's for lunch after watching the surfers!
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Aug 24th, 2012, 05:49 AM
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To sf7307 - I guess it depends on the person(s). We were on Maui for 2 weeks, so we had lots of time for everything we wanted to do. We drove to Wailea several times from Kapalua and we also drove to Paia a few times for dinner as well. It was no big deal to us. I guess if you only have a few days, that might be different, but having as much time as we did, it was not a problem for us making those drives for good food and great atmospheres.
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Aug 24th, 2012, 11:11 AM
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I like the lunch ideas. You can admire the scenery in daylight. You're not driving after dark, after drinks and wine, along with a lot of other tourists who don't 'know the road' (and locals who may be likewise 'impaired'. We've also had dinner at Mama's the night we catch a redeye for home.

How long is too long to drive somewhere is relative. We stay Jan. -Feb. in South Kihei in winter. I think the longer we're there, the harder it is to get up off our okoles and leave our own lanai! Wailea has enough choices for us when we do make the effort. LOL
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Sep 5th, 2012, 03:43 PM
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If you're into taking in the natural scenery--and who isn't?--look into the offerings at Hike Maui (http://www.hikemaui.com). You can get intimate glimpses of waterfalls--plus a swim--or catchc the views from the top of Haleakala, or take a kayak/hike hybrid trip. Ranges from easy walks to moderately physical trips. As for food, don't miss Mama's if you have the means. That's code for "be prepared to spend some dough." Personally, I'm into mixed plate and loco moco, so it's Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina for me. If you like to keep it simple too, you might find the roadside stand-ish charm of Ichiban Okazuya interesting and good. (Make sure they're open before you go--I remember that they close for part of the day or keep strange hours.)
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Sep 7th, 2012, 11:09 AM
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I second the Mama's Fish house and Merriman's rec for fine dining! They are both worth the drive. In fact, you can actually do Mama's before your flight out of Kahului, it is not that far from the airport - we had a sunset dinner there before our 9pm flight back to new york. It was a magical fairwell! But yes, both are very $$$ but have amazing views.

For something quaint, I liked Haliimaile General Store in upcountry.

Also, I think Alan Wong has a new restaurant at the Grand Wailea...It's called Amasia (sp?). Alan Wong's restaurant in Oahu is one of my most favorite restaurants (food-wise) and am looking forward to checking this out!

Activity-wise, definitely Road to Hana and the crater for sunrise or sunset, both are great so choose to see it when the weather is the clearest.

Have fun!
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Sep 7th, 2012, 05:24 PM
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I love driving anywhere in Paradise it is so beautiful, so don't mind going from one end of the West side to the other a few times - especially if there a week.

As for what else to do - get the good hiking books, etc and you might also take the ferry from Lahaina over to Lanai and snorkel there - or go with a dive company - who also sometimes take snorkelers.

Also as suggested - upcountry Maui gives a great view - and can' remember the western themed town a bit east of the road up to Halaekala - but it's also worth a visit if you are in the "hood". :

If you like Seafood/Sushi/Asian Fusion - with beef also on the menu - and other offerings - consider Sansei up at Kapalua. http://sanseihawaii.com/
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Sep 7th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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Here is the western themed-old style-painolo town - Makawo.

http://www.equitrekkingtravel.com/bl...o_cowboy_town/
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Sep 7th, 2012, 05:32 PM
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And here is the Haliimaile general store that a couple people mentioned mentioned:

http://bevgannonrestaurants.com/haliimaile/

And while I haven't been there - someone else mentioned the new Star Noodle restaurant which gets rave reviews and I will definitely try it next time I am here today - gone to Maui.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...ui_Hawaii.html
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